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Title: Managing individuality : an ethnographic study of the Findhorn Foundation community, Scotland
Author: Dinnie, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3425 164X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis is an ethnographic study of the history and social organization of the Findhorn Foundation community in Scotland, UK.  The community’s belief system locates authority for what to believe with each individual follower, rather than in an external authoritative source such as a deity or text.  Belief systems that encourage individual autonomy face difficulty in creating and maintaining strict social organizations; their emphasis on personal freedom conflicts with the commitment needed to ensure survival. The Findhorn Community was founded in 1962 and has undergone substantial changes in size, purpose and structure during the course of its history.  Present arrangements mean that its 500 residents are organized into a core/periphery structure of over 30 groups and businesses.  The largest organization is the Foundation, a charitable educational trust, which runs a year-round programme of holistic workshops and annually attracts over 2,000 residential visitors.  Individuals, businesses and groups outside the Foundation are integrated through a community association and an ecovillage project.  Organizational arrangements mean that the Foundation is strict; work, decision-making and entry requirements contribute to commitment by encouraging continuity, cohesion and control.  The wider community is not strictly regulated; involvement depends on personal choice and there is considerable variation. The change in purpose, from creating an alternative way of life to providing opportunities for education and personal transformation, raises questions about individuality and social change.  The flexibility of beliefs in guiding new organizational arrangements as circumstances changed directs attention to the relationship between beliefs and behaviour.  Present organizational arrangements address issues of social order, authority and individual autonomy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available